PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some of the most esteemed authors have had to wait until their 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond, to have their first books published. But Salem student Hudson Siemens has become a published author at the young age of 9.
Camp Turmoil, Hudson’s debut book, was published in November 2022 after he had been writing it for about two years.
“It’s [about] an abandoned theme park turned into a summer camp and weird things start happening to the campers, [like] turning into snakes, disappearing and etc,” Hudson said.
He has an affinity for the horror-thriller book genre. He cites R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps HorrorLand series and Lauren Tarshis’ I Survived series as two sources of inspiration for his own book.
Hudson received a bit of help from his mother, Courtney Siemens, but it was mostly a one-man — or one-boy — show.
“I just did the typing of the book,” Courtney said. “I sometimes had to ask him what he meant on some things, but yeah, that was about all I did on it. He wrote it mostly in school and he would come home and read me the story and I thought it was great.”
According to mom, Hudson had been asking to get his book published for a while before it was released. His persistence, along with help from a former teacher of Courtney’s, made the publication happen.
“My kindergarten teacher actually has published a few books,” Courtney said. “So I went and I asked her the process that she went through and she said that she went through Amazon, which is Kindle Publishing Group, and they kind of walk you through step-by-step and I commissioned someone to do the cover of the book for Hudson as a Christmas present.”
Since Camp Turmoil dropped in November, Hudson has received a lot of support from friends, family, classmates, and even the Keizer mayor who attended his book signing on Dec. 30, 2022.
When asked if anyone has told him how proud they are of him, he said, “Everybody has. My teacher’s even going to do it as a class read-aloud.”
Hudson’s younger brothers, Beau and Taylor, are two out of the book’s three main characters. He said he’d like for his siblings to be voice actors if Camp Turmoil is ever adapted into an animated film, but they may actually have to read it first. Hudson said that he started to read the book to his almost-8-year-old brother Taylor, but he “wasn’t that interested.”
Salem’s horror prodigy has one published book under his belt, and he already has plans for the next. Hudson will start writing his next book soon, which will be set at the main character Aden’s house.
Before book two in the Camp Turmoil series is published, you can buy book one on Amazon or find it at the Salem Public Library.
“I am so proud,” Courtney said. “We’re up to almost 90 books sold now and every time he gets a new one, it’s the same excitement that he had [with] the first book he sold. It’s just so awesome seeing him at 9 years old, doing something that he loves and actually getting it out there and it’s inspiring so many other kids in his school and everything to start writing.”